February Sturgeon scouting mission
Our Fraser River Sturgeon guides decided we needed to scrape the winter cobwebs off the gear and perhaps our minds and just get out there and go on a bit of a Sturgeon scout. Mike, Ash and myself(Brian) were all too happy to go fishing. After all, the previous season had come to a wintry end in early December and we had been stuck doing pretty much nothing for far too long. Because if you’re a guide and you can’t fish it just ain’t right. So on Monday February 12, sun shining, early rising, we joined up at the Mission boat launch. After putting the 21 foot Customweld ‘Storm’ into the Fraser River we headed out. I have to admit I was pumped as were the rest of us. There was a certain anticipation coursing through our veins. Whatever it was I just knew we were going to have fun.
Sturgeon sensors engaged
Captain Mike leads the way. I get to do nothing today except take pics, video and fight a fish or two if the fish gods allow. It’s great to just sit back and relax. I can now be reminded of what it’s like to be a angling client on board one of our charters. We are heading down river this morning. Our first drop is about 5 minutes from the dock. In that span of time we have travelled about 5 km. There are a few other boats out today already fishing. But we don’t see any fish on the business end of any rods.
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Let’s get busy!
Mike and Ash bait up the 3 rods(1 each) and cast out. When the weight hits the bottom the rods are set into the quick release holders. This allows you to set the hook immediately upon a bite. A quick rip equals pricked lip.
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The bite is quick
The state of the art side scanner shows we are on top of quite a few fish but will they feed? Of course they will. After about 2 minutes we get our first bite and with the speed of a Cowboy Western gunslinger Ash sets the hook. Fish on! Breaking the ice right off the get go is a good sign.
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Sturgeon are quickly released
No fish are brought in the boat for pics today. The water is a chilly 36 degrees F or 2 degrees Celsius. In the best interest of the fish we unhook them at the side of the boat and away they go, straight back down to the safety of the bottom. For water this cold the fish are surprisingly active.
Covering lots of water today
If we don’t get a bite within 10 minutes we’re outta there. Sitting in a spot where the bites not happening is futile. Especially when the bait is irresistible. The Fraser River is huge and there’s a ton of places to find schooling winter fish. We spend the time to scan each hole and if nobody’s home we check the next hole. This is why we get fish.